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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For 40 days and 40 nights Erwin has been held in a Japanese prison. The trial in Wakayama City of Erwin Vermeulen will go down in the history of the Taiji Dolphin Campaigns marking either a great success or a war cry for 100's or even 1000's to go to Taiji and demand an end of the dolphin hunt.

The trial starts on Thursday Jan. 26th--about 48 hours from now, in the late afternoon. It is expected to last two days. A decision will take anywhere from one week to a month. If Erwin is found guilty he will be deported after a few days of paper work. If he is innocent, it seems he will be freed, but as there seems to be no precedent for such a high profile enemy of the state to be freed, we still don't know. Perhaps he can remain in Japan until his visa expires.

During the trial, we dolphin lovers and also the dolphin killers and meat sellers will be watching closely. They will want to know if they can physically push us on the streets of Taiji and if we appear to push back, will we will all go to jail. The future of dolphin hunter power is at stake.

But even if they win, they will not get relief. They want their town back. Their winning will end up not with the dolphin activists backing off; I predict, more activists will look forward to greater Civil (Dolphin) Disobedience in Taiji. "Occupy Taiji!" will be the next thought in many a dolphin lover's heart.

Most cases like this in Japan get settled out of court when the accused pleads guilty and is fined a relatively small amount of yen (expected to be 2500USD) and gets deported without any more jail time that 20 days or so. This case is unique, not only because Erwin states that he is innocent, but also because he decided to hire lawyers and fight to the end, even to the point of not requesting bail.

Please say a prayer for Erwin's strength during the trial. He still faces up to two years in jail if convicted.

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